World-famous podcast host and UFC commentator Joe Rogan was shocked to hear on his podcast that India vs. Pakistan cricket matches garner more viewers than the Superbowl.
Joe Rogan is as American as they come, and although he is clearly clued in across a number of different niche topics, he like others, can often find himself caught in the figurative ‘USA bubble’, where it is as if very little exists out with the confines of America’s borders.
This was evident in a recent podcast – JRE MMA Show #130, filmed in September – with filmmaker Will Harris, where the two discussed Mr Harris’ recent trip to Dubai, where he watched an Asia Cup cricket tie between India and Pakistan.
Joe Rogan was astounded to hear that the tournament was watched by more people than the National Football League’s ‘Super bowl’, the biggest sporting event in America.
“Really?” Joe Rogan said in response to Mr Harris, before asking him whether he meant soccer.
Will Harris corrected him and replied, “Bigger than the Super Bowl, more viewers than the Super Bowl.”
Record attendance figures support this claim. The most watched Super Bowl of all time was 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX, where 114.44 million viewers tuned in to watch the New England Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks.
But this is nothing compared with the 273 million unique viewers of India’s clash with Pakistan at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Joe Rogan’s American bias – and most likely many of his viewers’ too – was challenged even further, when Will Harris decided to pull up the statistics of the most followed cricket player of all-time.
The two compared Indian cricketer Virat Kohli with America’s most followed athlete LeBron James, showing that Kohli – to Joe Rogan’s surprise – had, at the time, 82 million more followers than the American basketball player. Kohli now has 223 million followers in total.
Let the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which attracts even more viewers than cricket, serve as a reminder to Joe Rogan than although American sports certainly put on a show, they are not necessarily the pinnacle of sporting achievement.